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Thread: Homer Halibut report

  1. #1
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    Default Homer Halibut report

    There have been some discouraging reports out of Homer regarding halibut fishing. That wasn't my experience recently. Here is my report.

    I was in Homer for a business meeting the week of August 5-12. The weather on Monday, August 6 was quite windy. The wind was 40 knots straight out of the west. Nobody left port. On Tuesday, the wind died down but the water was still rough. Alot of boats stayed in port. The rest of the week was sunny, warm, and calm. It was perfect.

    I went out with Big Bear Charters for halibut (no combos). The cap't took us to the backside of the Barren Islands. It was a three hour ride but it was very calm. Even Kennedy Entrance was flat. Not even any rollers. Plus the scenery was incredible. We anchored about a mile off the Barren Islands in 140 feet of water. We used herring and some salmon heads that I brought from fishing the Homer Spit fishing hole. The bite started almost immediately. We landed numerous halibut in the 20 to 40lb range. We caught and released most of them. After about an hour, the cap't moved the boat another mile offshore (dragging the anchor) to 170 feet of water, hoping to find bigger fish. The bite was considerably better, but no big halibut. Our largest was 75lbs and the smallest keeper was about 35lbs. My arms were exhausted from reeling more 30-35lb halibut than I cared to count. I would have prefered to land something bigger, but I took home two 40lbers.

    The humpbacked whales were feeding all around the boat. I saw more whales on that trip than I've seen in my life. The seabirds were everywhere. It was a great trip. We pulled anchor around 2:00pm and got back to the dock around 5:00pm.

    The coho salmon were late this year. I fished the Anchor River but the fish weren't there in great numbers. I landed four but only kept one big buck. I was using eggs under a float. The Homer Spit fishing hole was quite busy. But virtually all the salmon caught were hooked on the in-coming tide while using either cut herring or eggs under a float.

    Overall, a fun trip and very enjoyable.

  2. #2

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    What you did with the salmon heads was illagle, they have to be commerically caught, but other than that nice report

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Not illegal

    Fishwacker: Using fish heads is legal as is the filleted carcus and bellies of sport caught fish. You may not use fillets and or freezer burnt sport caught fish. IF you BUY commercial caught fish, you may use any part of the fish you want.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  4. #4

    Default Homer update

    I fished Homer from my own boat August 9-12, Thur-Sun for flat fish. Weather was great, although Sunday we were blown back into the inlet as the seas offshore around the point were too lumpy to enjoy.

    Friday fished off of Flat Island near Port Graham on under a beautiful sky, flat seas and drifting over 160-170' water. All chickens, 20lb max. A scorching sunny 70 degrees on top of 49 degree water, the fog rolled in about 8pm

    Saturday drift fished north of Anchor Point off of Whiskey Gulch in an area 3-5 miles off shore in 100-180' water. All chickens with largest being 25lbs -- the mud sharks were a pain. Foggy, most boats did not leave or came back early. We left the dock about 1pm, the fog lifted about 3pm off Anchor Point.

    Although the weather was warm, Sunday was a mixed bag of finding comfortable water to fish and spotty fishing. Started out around 8am and motored past the outside point after a two hour ride. It was too lumpy to enjoy and made us queasy in about 15 minutes. So, we tried various locations until we were back in the bay behind Point Pogibishi where we had a quiet hour or two. The greater bay area produced several 30-35lb halibut in 90-160' water.

    Besides the halibut we caught on herring, we reeled in several Irish Lords, a large true cod and mud sharks galore.

  5. #5

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    thanks for the info dave

  6. #6
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Smile Similar Experience...

    My brother and I made it out a week ago Sunday. We left port at 6:00 am and dropped anchor at about 9:00 am. There was a hanging fog and some rollers, but level enough to hold the boat just fine. The fishing was slow for the first hour or so, pulling up some 10-15 pounders. It soon picked up and we had a ball reeling in 15-20 pounders. I don't recall ever dropping the herring-baited hook and coming up empty! The fish were extremely small, no pancakes. But we were able to fill his suitcase with 50 pounds of fresh halibut to take back to the boys in Texas!

    Fun trip, but no monsters!

    -Buck

  7. #7
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    Default One more thing......

    I neglected to mentioned that while I was in Homer, I saw one of the guides string up a 333lb halibut on the Homer Halibut Derby scale. Fortunately the angler who caught it had a derby ticket. That fish was in third place, as of August 10. As a fish biologist, I've seen alot of fish in my career, but that was easily the largest fish I have ever seen caught by a recreational angler. It took up the entire bed of a pick-up truck!

  8. #8
    Member fishmaster's Avatar
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    Yep I bet that 333# halibut made a fine picture and some great advertising for the Guide. What many people don't know and many guides and Charter operators don't care about is the barn door size halibut are the females that lay millions of eggs. When they get much over a hundred pounds the meat is not very good to eat. I would much rather have a picture of me cutting her loose.

  9. #9
    Member Swissy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishmaster View Post
    Yep I bet that 333# halibut made a fine picture and some great advertising for the Guide. What many people don't know and many guides and Charter operators don't care about is the barn door size halibut are the females that lay millions of eggs. When they get much over a hundred pounds the meat is not very good to eat. I would much rather have a picture of me cutting her loose.
    Amen... I've yet to keep anything over 85# on my boat, and probably never will. even guests will be talked out of it (or I'll try to at least)
    '04 Hewescraft 24' Searunner
    200hp Honda 4stroke
    + multiple other 'toys'...

  10. #10
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Eating their own flesh

    For Homer to continue to sponsor a derby that encourages people to seek the biggest fish- the super mommas- is akin to one eating their own flesh to satisfy hunger. The result will be continued diminishing returns until one day it will be so regulated that they CAN'T have a derby. They should come up with another format.

  11. #11

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    Using target weights for derby would work the best and save the monsters.

  12. #12
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    looking to head to Homer one more time in Sept.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  13. #13

    Default

    My family fished out of Homer on a charter on July 19th, biggest we caught was 62 lbs., the smallest we kept was around 23 pounds. My main objective was to fill the freezer with good meat. We anchored at slack tide and the fishing was slow (reeled in 2 in 30 minutes), once the tide turned, we had a fish on almost constantly until we reached our limit. Probably caught 25, could only keep 8. (4 of us fishing) Weather was overcast, seas were calm, it was a perfect day. Next year, I'll have my own boat to catch halibut. I purchased a 24' Osprey.

  14. #14
    Member trapperrick's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    For Homer to continue to sponsor a derby that encourages people to seek the biggest fish- the super mommas- is akin to one eating their own flesh to satisfy hunger.
    That is profound! ...and true.

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